FCC Panel Suggests Taxing Business Internet Usage to Pay for Rural Broadband

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    AT&T and other industry leaders have suggested that the best way to pay for the rural broadband infrastructure rollout is to tax businesses that use the internet. This state tax was suggested by the FCC's Broadband Depolyment Advisory Committee (BDAC). "BDAC members include AT&T, Comcast, Google Fiber, Sprint, other ISPs and industry representatives, researchers, advocates, and local government officials." States are able to adopt the "State Model Code" suggestions from the BDAC without input from the FCC. The exact wording of the proposal can be found on page 28 of this FCC release.

    Yesterday, wireless providers like AT&T and others avoided having to pay taxes to fund the Universal Service Fund and consequentially the rural broadband rollout with the FCC's text messaging ruling. The tax money collected from the BDAC proposal would be sent to a new Rural Broadband Deployment Assistance Fund for AT&T and other ISPs to build a broadband infrastructure in rural America. AT&T would benefit the most as it already receives $428 million per year to provide 10Mbps service in rural areas. The Internet Association which includes Netflix, Amazon, Google and others opposes the tax as it would effectively tax everyone.

    Every provider of Communications Services in the State shall contribute to the Rural Broadband Deployment Assistance Fund in an equitable and non-discriminatory manner. The State Universal Service Administrator ("Administrator") shall determine the appropriate State Universal Service assessment methodology and rate consistent with federal law and FCC policy. The Administrator shall engage stakeholders in a rulemaking process to determine the source of funding. If Broadband Dependent Services shall be subject to State sales tax, it shall be deposited to the Rural Broadband Deployment Assistance Fund; or

    1.2. Every provider of Communications Services and Broadband Dependent Services in the State shall contribute to the Rural Broadband Deployment Assistance Fund in an equitable and non- discriminatory manner. The State Universal Service Administrator ("Administrator") shall determine the appropriate State Universal Service assessment methodology and rate consistent with federal law and FCC policy. The Administrator shall engage stakeholders in a rulemaking process to determine the source of funding; or 1.3. Entities that financially benefit from access to a broadband system located in the state, including advertising providers, shall contribute to the Broadband Deployment Fund.
     
  2. the-one1

    the-one1 2[H]4U

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    So.......like every single business?
     
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  3. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    Yes.
     
  4. TAP

    TAP Limp Gawd

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    Uhmm... aren't the people who live in those rural areas generally anti-socialism?
     
  5. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

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    Don't worry, guys, the industry will definitely use the money collected through this initiative for what it is meant for this time.
     
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  6. gtrguy

    gtrguy Limp Gawd

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    Didn't the government give the telecoms hundreds of billions of dollars to do this already?
     
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  7. Shotglass01

    Shotglass01 [H]ard|Gawd

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    TLDR but from what I gather isn't likely to pass. But the mere mention of it now makes it feel like it'll be okay 5 years from now. That's how data caps worked. Blasphemy today; reality tomorrow.
     
  8. auntjemima

    auntjemima [H]ardness Supreme

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    Jesus Christ.. always a new fucking tax. Stop wasting money on useless government projects that go nowhere. Cut the fat and you'll have the money you need.
     
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  9. Thorvaldsen

    Thorvaldsen n00b

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    I live in a rural area and I think this is a terrible idea. If you just bring high speed reliable internet access out here we can pay for it on our own accord. I pay $181.03 a month for a wireless connection 50/10 that is way more reliable and faster than the DSL connection at 7/1 for $102 a month. The DSL connection went out constantly and the speeds on a good day were at about 5.6 mbps and 740kb/s up. So yeah, no need to tax business for something people in these areas can pay for over time. Not a good use of socialism. Business's pay enough taxes as it is. I object to the idea of subsidizing rural folks ability to troll social media and forums, shop on amazon, masturbate to internet porn and watch netflix and other streaming media services. Pay for that shit on your own, son!
     
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  10. JRUHg

    JRUHg Limp Gawd

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    :cigar:
     
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  11. Arcygenical

    Arcygenical Will Watercool for Crack

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    I mean, I know huge telecom makes huge profits year over year... But the Profit:broadband rollout cost ratio is absolutely massive, even for a company such as AT&T.

    If you believe the 20-300 billion dollar cost to rollout rural broadband, it would take upwards of 100 years for AT&T to pay for this rollout (worst case) using profits alone.

    And considering these are publicly traded companies, shareholders would likely file suit.
     
  12. DNMock

    DNMock Limp Gawd

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    I thought Elon Musk and Space X were already on that with the swarm of low altitude satellites.
     
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  13. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    They have been rolling out internet here since the late 1990's / early 2000's. Still don't have it in most areas. Some areas don't have cellular service. One guy who works for the telephone company can't even get dialup because his copper lines are so old.

    /shrug.
     
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  14. piscian18

    piscian18 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    and drink their own pee?
     
  15. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

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    I've heard tell that the US of A has something called an "Army Corps of Engineers" that can get shit done.

    Like digging a ditch so big it cuts a country in half. That's a big fucking ditch, a few hundred thousand miles of cable ought to be a nap in the shade for them.

    Imagine a military used to help Americans in their daily lives instead of combating the spread of democracy around the world. Just a thought. All those resources and not much to help the people paying for it. Instead of just fixing stuff that breaks. Make new stuff for the weather to break!
     
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  16. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    Wouldn't it be far cheaper to simply offer hotspots to those with rural addresses and charge as regular internets? Cell towers are far cheaper to put up rather than pulling cable/fiber to every fucking household
     
  17. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    So then they build these networks and it becomes a giant money sink for the company. After how many years until they just shut them down, and don't have to pay that money back?
     
  18. Advil

    Advil [H]ard|Gawd

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    We already pay more for less service than residential. My work account is a pretty good deal where we are, but it's sill only 15/5 service for more money than we pay from the same company for 75/75 service a couple of miles away at home.

    What the hell do they call what the internet providers are doing to businesses already if not "subsidization" of the entire system.
     
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  19. Riccochet

    Riccochet Off Topic Award

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    Wide area mesh networks would work better. Fuck pulling cable. A few towers, boom, done.
     
  20. U-238

    U-238 Limp Gawd

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    As a business owner and rural resident I call bullshit. Odds of these funds being actually used to improve rural infrastructure are minimal (nobody is going to expand to an area with an already thin and still-shrinking customer base no matter how much grant money you throw at them) and businesses already pay plenty in taxes. USF is a sham and nothing more than a way to funnel additional income to the 'big' internet providers.
     
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  21. Riccochet

    Riccochet Off Topic Award

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    You know, you don't even need to build towers in most of these rural areas. They're already there in the form of water towers.

    The solution is so simple, but our government is a bunch of fucking morons.
     
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  22. DNMock

    DNMock Limp Gawd

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    I think they are busy trying to keep the bridges and dams from falling apart. Those aren't as sexy though so they get a roll of duct tape for their annual budget. Strangely enough, most people in rural areas seem to want to make sure the only bridge over the river for 50 miles doesn't collapse more than getting an option to pick up that sweet comcast data package...
     
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  23. WBurchnall

    WBurchnall 2[H]4U

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    Most people are hypocrites, selfish and only are against things that do not benefit themselves personally:

    "Free healthcare for everyone? BUT WHAT ABOUT FAT PEOPLE, DRUGS ADDICTS AND FREELOADERS?! Surely they don't get healthcare! Bahhhhhumbug!"

    Oh, I just found out I have cancer and need $500,000 of chemotherapy? Free healthcare for all! Even pre-existing conditions!
     
  24. ButtonPuncher

    ButtonPuncher Limp Gawd

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    ^^^^THIS is why we don't need anymore taxing crap Government. The private sector will solve the rural internet problem whether it is space based or cellular based.

    I pay $1,100 a month for my 200Mb fiber connection at work. Businesses already pay PLENTY for internet connections. The last thing that we need is to be taxed more to line some lobbyists pockets.

    BP
     
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  25. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    If it was this easy, every spot in the US would have 4 bar or better cell service. And most towers still need a fiber/copper connection back to a main switch.

    The proposal needs the following amendments:
    1. USF is abolished - its original mission of universal phone service is mostly complete. Its follow on mission of universal internet is a failure.
    2. No monies distributed to ISPs until After at least a 50mb fiber service or equivalent is provided. Claimed list of customers for RBDAF re-reimbursements made public to allow said customers to verify they really do have the eligible service available. Distributed money could be recalled if customer(s) prove the service claim is false.
    3. Include an 'Honesty in Pricing' requirement for ISP bills. All fees, charges, taxes to be included in advertised pricing.

    Not saying I would support this even with the amendments. To many ways it could go horribly wrong.
     
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  26. shansoft

    shansoft [H]ardness Supreme

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    Well, these telecom needs even more cash than the one they already been given to.....

    Welcome to Murica.......
     
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  27. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    FFS that rural network has been bought and paid for ISPs just love free cash.

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy...-government-money-for-alchohol-and-vacations/

    Pai was there

     
  28. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    Didn't the federal government give various giant internet providers a ton of money to make rural internet happen? Now the FCC wants to take money from business and give it right back to said giant internet providers.
     
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  29. bbvdd2

    bbvdd2 Limp Gawd

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    Why not just pass a law that states the internet provider in your territory, must provide broadband internet . If you request it and they do not provide it within 6 months, they get fined $500 a day after that until the service is connected. Boom, problem solved (mostly). No need for a tax. Let the market duke it out. If the providers have to raise prices, then raise prices but people always have the option of not using your services
     
  30. Wolfkin

    Wolfkin [H]ard|Gawd

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    Just to give some perspective. In Sweden almost every city is connected to a fiber net and as a house owner there would be a one time fee of around $650 to get fiber installed. Monthly cost for fiber at an ISP is around $40-45 for 100/100 Mbits/s and that is on an unlimited plan, as in truely unlimited full speed down and upload 24/7 if you want to. Just recently some ISP's have started to offer fiber speed of 10.000 Mbit for $55/month but that's only in Stockholm yet (our capital city).

    Rural is a bit worse when it comes to fiber with about 30% of households being able to connect at this time but it is possible for smaller communities and villages to band together and share the cost of getting connected, would cost around $2.200 per house for a village of 100 households and then the same $40-45 a month for 100/100.

    Almost everywhere (like +98% ) there is also possible to get ADSL 24-30 Mbit for $45-50/month true unlimited.
     
  31. Riccochet

    Riccochet Off Topic Award

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    Clearly you don't understand how wide area mesh works. The mesh is for tower to tower. You have one feed and essentially a ring around the area you want to cover. At home is connected via a directional point-to-point antenna pointed at a tower. I've helped set this up already in some areas for a friend that sells it to municipalities. We're talking near gig speeds with sub 30ms latency. Wirelessly. It does exist and it works beautifully.

    Cell is not point-to-point and should not even be compared to it.
     
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  32. meme

    meme Limp Gawd

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    As I business owner, I think this is bullshit.

    Businesses already are getting fucked on internet usage. We pay more than the average home user, while using far far less data. While the average home is watching youtube videos all day long and downloading multi gigabyte games and movies, most businesses are using the internet only to connect their point of sale system to the internet so they can take credit cards.

    So it's not enough that we pay double what a home does to use .001% of the data, now we have to help subsidize home internet usage as well?
     
  33. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    You get your rated speed home users do not. You pay for support that is out to fix it in a couple hours instead of next week. Dedicated IP addresses. What it is worth is different for each but you are not just getting fucked with higher costs for no reason.

    Yea it is a lot to ask a few dollars from businesses to help subsidize something that would cost farms and home users out there thousands of dollars to install lines and repeaters.

    What is your business? I would like to know to avoid it as best I can.


    Not saying it would be utilized correctly because the big networks have not done so in the past so why start now?
     
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  34. Jehuty

    Jehuty Limp Gawd

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    Honestly I’m usually ok with taxing something to actually build and expand net access to rural areas, but being that AT&T brought this up I say fuck them, just out of spite.

    The rural areas should be incentivized to build their own network access and just charge a usage fee to the provider, while strictly denying them to pass the cost of it to the consumer.

    Like that one place that denied a contract to comcast and said they’d make their own isp. Fuck those companies, counties / cities should start to be able to reap the benefits of it, not just the isp alone.
     
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  35. Wiffle

    Wiffle Limp Gawd

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    sw3lvl1ocphw1kusptwi.jpg

    Im speechless.
     
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  36. snowcrash

    snowcrash Gawd

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    Hope it happens. Let's see how supporters of this idiot feels when the cost is passed down to all of us.
     
  37. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Agreed. Not very knowledgeable about mesh but municipalities <> rural. Towns have hundreds to maybe a couple thousand potential customers per square mile. Many rural areas will be doing good to have 4, given the common plot size of 1/4 section. And each tower still needs power + backup power. Not always cheaply available at good sites for tower location. How many towers will an ISP build to support 20 customers? And depending on terrain, being able to point the end point antenna at a mesh tower close enough for good speed isn't always possible. May well work is some rural areas. Cool if it does. Some areas may be cheaper per customer to build out by running fiber.
     
  38. Riccochet

    Riccochet Off Topic Award

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    It is case by case. Some of his installs don't even require mesh. Just a single tower somewhere central. He pays for the infrastructure to be ran to the tower, most often a water tower, and then provides the antennas to the customers. Honestly, I was blow away by the speed and latency. His cost is extremely low too. Considering what the towns are offering him in incentives almost offset the cost of building out. And it's costing the towns considerably less than having a cable provider come in to lay coax/fiber, if they even want to. His biggest expense is having fiber ran to the feed. Distance for point-to-point can be up to 8 miles. He can cover a lot of area with a few towers in place.
     
  39. jedijeb13

    jedijeb13 Limp Gawd

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    My parents live 20 miles from any town of 500-1500 people and they have minimum 2Mb DSL service because the independent telco there (Brandenburg Telephone Company-BBTell) used the original payment to telcos to actually run fiber out into rural areas, and this is in nowhere Ky. All around them is AT&T and most of their customers are still stuck with dialup if they are more than a couple miles outside of towns with 15K people in them. If a little three county phone system can do it years ago, then AT&T could have too, instead they just took the money and blew it on other things to grow back into the monopoly the government broke up already and not fulfill the requirements they took on to receive that money in the first place. If the government would stand up to AT&T and make them do what they were supposed to do with the original money there would be no need for a new tax period.
     
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  40. SecretStash

    SecretStash Limp Gawd

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    I think they overstate the price of rural rollouts. I know one guy who's Dad is a farmer. His dad invested in this co-op who is now rolling out fiber, and he's making good on the money invested in this co-op